Polar Launches The Pacer And Pacer Pro Running Watches

Polar Pacer Pro
Polar Pacer Pro (Image credit: Nick Harris-Fry/Future)

Polar has launched two new running watches, the Pacer and Pacer Pro, designed to offer the company’s key sports tracking features in smaller, lighter devices than those in the existing Vantage line.

The Polar Pacer Pro is available from today and costs £259, while the Pacer costs £169.50 and is available to pre-order but won’t ship until May. The Pacer Pro is available now in three colours, with a fourth colour launching in May, and the Pacer will come in four colours. 

Both watches are designed for runners, with the Pacer Pro aimed at more advanced users with extra features like running power measurements and breadcrumb navigation including turn-by-turn directions. The Pacer Pro also has a barometer and an aluminium bezel, while the Pacer is all plastic, though both have the same slim, lightweight appearance.

Polar Pacer Pro

Polar Vantage V2 and Polar Pacer Pro  (Image credit: Nick Harris-Fry/Future)

While the Pacer is built for beginners, it still offers all the essentials runners of any level will need, including training plans and structured workouts you can follow from your wrist, training analysis via Polar’s Training Load Pro tool, and tests that you can do while running or walking to gauge your fitness level and get a VO2 max estimate.

Both watches have the same battery life of 35 hours GPS and around a week of general use, but you can extend the battery to 100 hours when training in power-save mode. They also offer basic smart features like music controls for playback on your phone, weather forecasts and notifications.

Polar is also promising faster processing speeds with the watches, and both have the same MIP (memory-in-pixel) reflective colour display, which is not a touchscreen like on other Polar devices. The watches also have a new antenna design that Polar says will increase GPS tracking accuracy.

Polar Vantage V2 and Polar Pacer Pro

Polar Vantage V2, left, and Polar Pacer Pro  (Image credit: Nick Harris-Fry/Future)

It will be interesting to see what Polar does with its Vantage line following the launch of the Pacer and Pacer Pro, which offer almost all of Polar’s top features at a lower cost than existing devices. The Vantage M2 costs £259 and the flagship Vantage V2 is £429, and while the latter does have an all-aluminium design and one key extra feature in the shape of Polar’s orthostatic tests to track recovery, the Pacer Pro does seem to offer much better value to keen runners and triathletes, while the Pacer undercuts all the serious sports watches in Polar’s range.

That’s only the case if the watches live up to their promise in the real world of course. We have the Polar Pacer Pro in for testing and will publish our first impressions as soon as possible.

Nick Harris-Fry
Senior writer

Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.